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If I Regard Wickedness in My Heart

September 8, 2014

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If  I Regard Wickedness  in My Heart

People often love  to be deceitful  in their hearts.     They might pretend  to be a good friend  —  pretend to be giving a good deal  on a sale  —  pretend  to be listening  to you  —  pretend  to be industriously working  for their employer  —  pretend  to be sorry  for their wrongdoing  —  or any other kind  of deceitfulness.     They might easily fool people,  but no one  can ever fool God  —  no matter how  they imagine  they can.

Some take pride  in their ability  to be deceitful.     When they want God  to answer their prayers,  they will make out  like they are very pious  and reverent,  but their hearts  are filled  with wicked plans.     Since no one  can ever fool God  with their outward actions,  God will not answer  such hypocritical prayers.     These people  do not honestly believe  in the all-knowing  and forgiving power  of God  —  they don’t believe  they need  to be repentant  —  nor do they ever want  to change their ways.

The writer  of Psalm 66  had a good  and sincere heart  towards God.     He was thankful  for God’s discipline,  and truly praised God  for all  of His many wondrous ways.     Recognizing  that it was also possible  for him  to fall  into the wickedness  of not being honestly repentant,  the psalmist wrote  in Psalm 66:18-20,

If  I regard wickedness  in my heart,
The Lord will not hear;
But certainly  God has heard;
He has  given heed  to the voice  of my prayer.   

Blessed  be God,
Who has not  turned away  my prayer
Nor  His lovingkindness  from me.

If the psalmist  would have regarded  “wickedness”  in his “heart”,  he would have been cherishing  and giving in  to the temptation  to be false  and unrepentant in his prayers  to God.     In their pride,  people don’t want  to honestly repent  of anything.     They prefer  to fraudulently  put on a front  of being righteous.     But,  the psalmist says  that would have been to  “regard wickedness  in my heart”.     God will not answer the prayers  of those who  “regard wickedness”  in their hearts.

Because the psalmist honestly  and sincerely repented,  he was able  to joyfully sing,  “But certainly  God has heard;  He has given heed  to the voice  of my prayer.”     He was so thankful  for God’s loving forgiveness  and answer  to his prayers.

We,  too,  need  to look at what is  in our hearts  as we pray.     Do we cherish the  “wickedness  in my heart”?     Do we imagine  our pretentious repentance will gain God’s favor?     Let us be careful  as the psalmist  was careful  —  being sure  we don’t try  to hide anything  from our Lord  and Savior  —  and rightfully turning away  from the sins  that plague us.     Let us be open and honest  with our Lord.

In the joy  of God’s love,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     LORD,  thank You  for graciously washing away  all our sins  for Jesus’ sake.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

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Pray for our country.

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Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus

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Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus by the Yupiq Eskimo village of Quinhagak, Alaska

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The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

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The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

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Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

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How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

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Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

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O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

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Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

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Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect, but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

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